A newly published study shows “states that expanded Medicaid were significantly associated with lower rates of maternal death,” according to CNN. 

“The largest reduction was among non-Hispanic women,” said Erica Eliason, the study’s author. Black women have a much higher maternal mortality rate than other groups, and the study suggests that Medicaid expansion would play a large role in cutting down that disparity.

“The data showed that following Medicaid expansion implementation, the maternal death rate dropped in states that expanded the program compared to those that did not,” CNN reported.

In North Carolina, Republican leaders in the General Assembly have opposed Medicaid expansion. Dan Forest, Republican gubernatorial candidate and current Lieutenant Governor, does not cite health care as a top concern and remains opposed to Medicaid expansion. Governor Cooper has made Medicaid expansion one of the top issues in his administration and he will continue fighting until Republicans agree to expand.

Read more of CNN’s coverage on maternal mortality and Medicaid expansion.